Elvis Costello Cancels Concert Due to Striking Musicians
Elvis Costello has canceled the November 1 stop at Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall on his "Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers" tour. The reason is that he is siding with the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra -- the regular residents of the venue -- in a strike.
"I regret to inform you that our 'Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers' concert at Heinz Hall cannot go ahead," he wrote on Facebook, "as I am unwilling to cross an AFofM [American Federation of Musicians] picket line during the current strike by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. I hope that the dispute will soon be settled honorably and amicably and that The Imposters and I will have the opportunity to perform at Heinz Hall before too long. We send our apologies to ticket holders and all our friends in Pittsburgh with thanks for your understanding and support of live music wherever it is heard. Respectfully. Elvis Costello."
The strike began three weeks ago, with the Post-Gazette saying that management was looking to cut the musicians' base salary of $107,000 by 15 percent, make changes to the pension plan and eliminate at least three positions in the 99-piece orchestra. Despite an increase in ticket sales and fundraising for this year, management says that a loss of a subsidy from the Cultural Trust and fewer rentals of Heinz Hall for Broadway productions will result in $2.7 million less in revenue over the next two years. They cited a study that said that, without changes, the symphony "would run out of cash and have to close the doors in May/June 2017.”
However, the union says that those numbers are misleading and that cutting the salaries would trigger a departure of many musicians, and it would be difficult to find replacements of the same quality. Furthermore, they say reputation of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which is very highly regarded throughout the classical music world, will be irreparably hurt.
Elvis Costello Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness